(English) Mail.Ru Group’s new browser “focuses on user security and privacy”

01 марта 2019

(English) Half a year after it stopped supporting its first, not-so-successful browser Amigo, Mail.ru Group announced earlier this month the launch of a new browser christened ‘Atom.’

While Amigo had been perceived as excessively intrusive due to the way it had been promoted by Mail.Ru’s partners, Atom “focuses on user security and privacy,” claims the LSE-listed group.

Thus, Atom’s developers have introduced an “incognito tab” that may be opened in one click from the browser’s main window. This browsing mode can be activated for any site, or systematically “for almost all private sites.”

The incognito mode can also be used to “totally disable any search history for the entire browser,” and to “compare plane tickets or hotel prices” without undesired interference from online tracking and analytical tools.

Another feature has been designed to “put users in control of their own security:” Accessible from the main window, a special panel lets users “check and modify important settings related to third party cookies, ads, popups, or the access to their camera and microphone.”

In search of the “perfect balance”

Mail.Ru Group claims the Atom developers have focused on “creating a user-friendly and non-intrusive, yet informative interface.” Several hackathons were held to this end, while various prototype versions were tested in the company’s UX laboratories “to find the perfect balance.”

The developing team also took care of reducing loading times for Mail.Ru Group services, including social networks VK and OK.

“The objective was to ensure instant access even if the user has a slow Internet connection,” the company stated.

Prior to reaching out to the public, the secure browser was tested by Mail.Ru Group’s cyber security team and in the official tester community of VK, the social network owned by the group.

Additionally, an open bug bounty program has been launched to detect vulnerabilities and evaluate Atom’s security features. A reward of 1 million rubles (around $15,000) will be offered to “anyone who can find an RCE vulnerability” (the possibility of executing arbitrary code in the browser when entering a malignant website – editor). The program is available on HackerOne.

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